"Adam & Paul" Miserable Dreams By Genoveva Dimitrova

in 10th Sofia International Film Festival

by Genoveva Dimitrova

Incredible! At the very end of the 9th International Sofia Film Festival we saw the best movie. It was Adam & Paul, the first feature film by Irish director Lenny Abrahamson. The moment we saw it, the movie exceeded all previous expectations.

Adam and Paul are a pair of young losers from Dublin. They have been together since their childhood. They are homeless. They are junkies. They only dream of scrounging and robbing money for drugs. Their dreams are miserable. The film shows one day in the life of two marginal people. On that same day, a mass is served in memory of their friend who died a month earlier from an overdose. On screen, we follow Adam and Paul’s loitering, their meetings and fooleries in the streets, which, as a whole, grow from stupid to even more stupid and meaningless.

We have seen a lot of similar characters on the contemporary screen, but these two are different.

The young and intelligent director Lenny Abrahamson creates an alternative world in the gutter, where drugs and small robberies are the loathsome routine of baffled guys. Between dark comedy and fairytale, the film tells us about present day life in Ireland through the story of the miserable and the immigrants. Abrahamson’s brilliant sense of humor turns darkness into sunshine. Thus, we understand more about the parameters of an United Europe and about humanism — through an elegant distance, a cool irony and an almost documentary style which he applies to his story..

The grubbier, the and more doomed Adam and Paul get, the tidier and more vital the film grows.

Diving into the dangerous world of daily follies, Lenny Abrahamson manifests a temperamental heartiness and a cinematographic hygiene which is amazing for a debutant — there isn’t a single particle of dust from the didactic or pathetic usual for this topic.

One shouldn’t forget the fantastic performance of Mark O’Halloran (who’s also the screenwriter of the film) and Tom Murphy. There isn’t a single empty frame in the movie.

“The world has obviously become better, since critics and filmmakers share the same opinions,” said Srdjan Dragoevic, chairman of the international jury, at the closing ceremony.

Adam and Paul was the winner of the festival.